Secrecy is surrounding allegations levelled at a police and crime commissioner charged with overseeing the largest single county force in England.
Conservative commissioner Julia Mulligan, who has twice been elected to ensure the efficient and effective policing of North Yorkshire since 2012, is facing a grilling by the county’s Police and Crime Panel Complaints Sub-Committee over complaints.
While the number and nature of the allegations have not been disclosed, they are understood to be related to Mrs Mulligan’s conduct and members of staff or former members of staff.
When asked to comment on the proceedings, a spokesman for Mrs Mulligan said: “In relation to the complaint, there is very little we can say at this stage. It is a Police and Crime Panel process and, as such, we are unable to say anything in advance as it might interfere with that.”
On the police and crime commissioner’s website, Mrs Mulligan is described as “a prominent champion of the needs of the public and victims at a national level”.
It highlights how she has national responsibilities for integrity amongst police and crime commissioners, which includes transparency, ethics and police complaints.
The hearing comes just two months after York councillor Peter Dew resigned from the panel accusing Mrs Mulligan of treating its members with “little disguised contempt”.
In advance of the hearing, both Mrs Mulligan and those behind the complaints have been invited to make a statement to support their position and answer questions.
Members of the press and public will be excluded from the hearing, to be held at County Hall, in Northallerton, on the grounds that it would involve “the likely disclosure of exempt information” as defined by the Local Government Act 1972.
Potential outcomes of such hearings include that there has been no fault by the commissioner, that there has been insufficient injustice or that the commissioner is asked to consider giving an apology or to reflect upon practices in her office.
Should the committee find against Mrs Mulligan, the panel cannot impose formal sanctions on her as it does not have the power to do so.
However, it can publish a report or a recommendation.
It is understood the panel examining the complaints will be chaired by Hambleton District Council deputy leader, Councillor Peter Wilkinson.